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Old March 11, 2013, 10:50 PM   #1
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Join Date: November 19, 2009
Posts: 3,121
Can someone explain in regards to Germany and WW II . . . .

Why Germany did not develop a standard semi-auto rifle for their infantry but instead maintained the use of the bolt action Mauser?

I've often wondered about this . . . yes, I have owned Mausers - still have a nice one that a relative brought back in WW I and I once had two different WW II Mausers that were "European Custom Sporterized" rifles - excellent workmanship and excellent shooters - used them for a number of years deer hunting.

But . . . when Germany began their "blitzkrieg" in 1939 . . the common infantry soldier was equipped with the bolt action Mauser. Yes . . they faced other armies who were also equipped with bolt action rifles - the Russians, the Brits, the French and so on. However . . . they also had developed some excellent machine guns, tanks and of course the dreaded "88s". They developed the V-1 and V-2 and in late war, the "jet" fighter.

The Americans entered the war with the Garand and the M-1 Carbine - yes, I know that some units utilized the 03, 03-A3, 1917 Enfield and such, but overall, the Americans had a weapon that was dependable and capable of semi auto fire which in he hands of a trained infantryman, seems to me would outclass and out shoot a bolt action rifle (Mauser).

So . . . I'm just curious as to why they didn't develop a semi-auto rifle in mass quantities - similar to the Garand - for mass issue to their infantry? Was it a belief that the common soldier would "waste" ammunition or something else? At the end of the war, supplies were certainly limited due to factories being bombed, etc. - but it seems as though if they had developed a semi-auto rifle for their main infantry weapon, in the beginning of the war, it may have worked in their favor even more as they "blitzkrieged" their way across Europe.

There can be no debate in regards to the capability of the German soldier in WW II and their ability to cause casualties with the bolt action Mausers and over the years, in talking with many WW II Vets, they had a respect of the German soldier in regards to their fighting abilities and a special respect (and fear) of their excellent machine guns and artillery. My father-in-law was a BAR man in the 34th Division and these two things he feared most - the 88 barrages and the German machine guns - both in N. Africa and the Italian campaign.

This may seem to be an odd place to post this question and I hope I'm not violating any rules in regards to that. I have seen so many excellent posts on this forum in regards to milsurp weapons and thought that some others may be interested in this topic as well. I've often wondered about this and hope that someone can explain it.

Thanks for any information and thoughts - greatly appreciated!
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
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